Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.7 earthquake hits Taiwan.

5.5 earthquake hits the South Sandwich Islands.

5.3 earthquake hits south of Fiji.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

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In the Atlantic Ocean: Hurricane Sam is located about 940 mi…1510 km ese of the northern Leeward islands with maximum sustained winds…145 mph…230 km/h. Present movement…wnw or 295 degrees at 8 mph…13 km/h.

In the Northwest Pacific Ocean: Super Typhoon 20w (Mindulle), located approximately 442 nm southwest of Iwo To, is tracking westward at 03 knots.

Tropical cyclone 03b (Gulab), located approximately 281 nm south-southwest of Kolkata, India, is tracking westward at 10 knots.

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Environment

Drought in the US Southwest is worst in recorded history

The ongoing drought in the U.S. Southwest is the worst drought the region has experienced since record keeping began in 1895, according to a new report from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) Drought Task Force.

The 20 months from January 2020 through August 2021 saw the lowest total precipitation and the third-highest daily average temperatures ever recorded in the Southwest (which encompasses Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah), resulting in an “unyielding, unprecedented and costly” crisis, the report said.

While the drought punctuates a two-decades-long period of declining precipitation in the Southwest that is “presumably natural,” human-induced climate change exacerbated the current drought significantly by driving up average temperatures to scorching highs, the report found. Together, the low precipitation and searing temperatures reduced the area’s mountain snowpack and increased water evaporation in Southwestern soil, leading to the severe and persistent drought.

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Disease

Covid-19

The countries with the 10 greatest number of Covid-19 cases:

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Botulism – Russia

Health authorities in Tatarstan report twelve botulism cases this year in the districts of Almetyevsky, Zainsky, Leninogorsky and Sarmanovsky. This compares with two botulism cases reported in the previous two years.

Typhoid – Mexico

Tamaulipas state, on the west coast of Mexico and bordering Texas has reported 3,407 typhoid fever infections since the beginning of the year. This puts Tamaulipas at the top of cases reported in any one state, closely followed by Sinaloa state (3381).

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

6.2 earthquake hits the Andreanof Islands in the Aleutian Islands.

5.4 earthquake hits south of Africa.

5.4 earthquake hits the Nicobar Islands off India.

5.0 earthquake hits eastern Xizang, China.

5.0 earthquake hits Guadeloupe in the Leeward Islands.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

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In the Atlantic Ocean: Hurricane Sam is located about 1150 mi…1855 km ese of the northern Leeward islands with maximum sustained winds…110 mph…175 km/h. Present movement…wnw or 290 degrees at 13 mph…20 km/h.

Subtropical Storm Theresa is located about 155 mi…255 km nnw of Bermuda with maximum sustained winds…40 mph…65 km/h. Present movement…wnw or 285 degrees at 6 mph…9 km/h.

In the Northwest Pacific Ocean: Typhoon 20w (Mindulle), located approximately 467 nm west of Agrihan, is tracking northwestward at 07 knots.

Tropical cyclone 03b (Three), located approximately 267 nm south of Kolkata, India, is tracking westward at 06 knots.

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Newsbytes:

Pakistan – Heavy monsoon rain caused severe traffic problems in parts of Karachi, Pakistan’s largest city on 23 September 2021. Roads were flooded and cars submerged. Rain began early on 23 September. By the afternoon as much as 70 mm had fallen in Surjani Town on the northern outskirts of the city, according to figures from Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD). As of 09 September 187 people have died in rain-related incidents since 01 July and the start of this year’s monsoon.

Spain – Torrential rain of over 100mm in 1 hour caused damaging flash floods in Huelva Province on the coast of Andalusia, southern Spain, on 23 September 2021. According to Spain’s meteorological agency AEMET, the town of Cartaya in the Province of Huelva recorded 118 mm of rain during a storm on 23 September, with 112.4 mm of rain falling in just 1 hour. Raging flood water swept though streets of numerous towns in the area, wrecking vehicles and damaging buildings.

Earthquakes

Magnitude 5+ Earthquakes – Global

5.6 earthquake hits off the coast of Baja California Sur.

5.6 earthquake hits the Andreanof Islands in the Aleutian Islands.

5.3 earthquake hits the Gulf of California.

5.1 earthquake hits the Kermedec Islands.

5.1 earthquake hits the Molucca Sea.

5.0 earthquake hits near the coast of Nicaragua.

Storms and Floods

Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:

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In the Atlantic Ocean: Hurricane Sam is located about 1470 mi…2365 km ese of the northern Leeward islands with maximum sustained winds…75 mph…120 km/h. Present movement…w or 280 degrees at 15 mph…24 km/h.

In the Northwest Pacific Ocean: Tropical storm 21w (Dianmu), located approximately 59 nm southeast of Da Nang, Vietnam, is tracking northwestward at 15 knots.

Tropical storm 20w (Mindulle), located approximately 965 nm southeast of Kadena AFB, is tracking northwestward at 10 knots.

Tropical cyclone 03b (Three), located approximately 211 nm south of Chittagong, is tracking northwestward at 15 knots.

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Newsbytes:

Colombia – Flooding continues to affect thousands of people across several departments of northern Colombia after rivers overflowed, dams and embankments failed and further heavy rain. In a report of 22 September the organisation said 12,441 people were still affected in Magangué, where 2,181 homes and 7,000 hectares of land have been flooded. Also in the north of the country, flooding affected Puerto Wilches municipality of Santander Department in the first week of September, according to Civil Defence. A total of 278 people were affected and 40 homes damaged. In Sucre Department, northern Colombia after heavy rain from 22 September 2021, some homes were evacuated. Civil Defence reported 1,715 people affected and 343 homes damaged.

Global Warming

Melting Polar Ice Warps Earth’s Crust

As the polar ice sheets melt, the process is not just raising sea levels – it’s also warping the underlying surface of Earth, a new study reveals, and some of the effects can be seen across thousands of miles.

What’s happening is that Earth’s crust is rising and spreading as the weight of the ice across Greenland, Antarctica, and the Arctic Islands gets lifted. The movement isn’t huge, averaging less than a millimeter a year, but it’s there and it covers a lot of ground.

The changes in the Earth’s crust may lead to altered tectonic movements over time, further affecting how the ice continues to melt.

Ozone Hole

The annual hole in the layer of stratospheric ozone over Antarctica has surged in size to now cover an area larger than the continent itself. Stratospheric ozone helps protect the Earth’s surface from dangerous ultraviolet radiation.

While a worldwide ban on the chemicals responsible for ozone depletion is showing signs of helping the hole to heal, scientists say it will still take decades because those chemicals are slow to break down. The European Space Agency says this year’s hole is now larger than 75% of those since the late 1970s. The ozone holes typically reach their largest size between mid-September and mid-October.

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Climate Change Fuels Migration – Guatemala

The agricultural economy of Guatemala has been hit by intense droughts alternating with devastating floods – two extremes made worse by climate change.

In Guatemala, years of severe drought interspersed with tropical storms, Hurricanes Eta and Iota last year and other heavy precipitation events have not only destroyed crops but also battered the land. Plants no longer grow and the soil remains infertile. This situation has caused severe food insecurity where almost half of children under five years old suffer malnutrition.

In the result, people are migrating away from rural areas to cities and other countries where prospects to earn a living are more favourable. While there is no clear definition, legal or otherwise, on who is a climate migrant, climate change is rarely the main reason why someone decides to leave their home, but it’s almost certainly a compounding factor in many cases.

Wildlife

Orcas vs Boats

An increasing number of boats off Spain and Portugal are mysteriously being attacked by orcas, with one sailboat being bashed by about a dozen of the “killer whales” for two hours.

A total of 41 attacks were reported in July alone, with most near Gibraltar.

Orcas had previously been known to lurk around fishing boats and steal tuna that had been caught. But the new encounters are stumping marine scientists, who are not sure they are actual attacks. “I don’t think we can consider them attacks if we can’t fully understand their motivation,” said cetacean expert Susana García-Tiscar.

Environment

Global Temperature Extremes

The week’s hottest temperature was 45.0 degrees Celsius at Yanbu, Saudi Arabia.

The week’s coldest temperature was minus 71.6 degrees Celsius at Vostok, Antarctica.

Temperatures were tabulated from the more than 10,000 worldwide synoptic weather stations. The United Nations World Meteorological Organization sets the standards for weather observations, and provides a global telecommunications circuit for data distribution.

Disease

Covid-19

The countries with the 10 greatest number of Covid-19 cases:

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African Swine Fever -0 Dominican Republic

On July 28, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) reported samples collected from pigs in the Dominican Republic were positive for African Swine Fever (ASF). This is the first time the disease was seen in the Americas in 40 years.

Plague – Madagascar

As of September 16, a total of 38 suspected cases of pulmonary plague including 19 confirmed and 6 death cases (CFR= 15.8%) are reported so far. The cases have all been from the Itasy region.

Volcanos

Roundup of Global Volcanic Activity – Ongoing Activity for the Week 15 September – 21 September 2021

Agung – Bali (Indonesia) : PVMBG reported that activity at Agung was last observed on 13 June 2019 and a thermal anomaly over the crater was last identified in satellite images in October 2019. During the previous year deformation data indicated no changes at the volcano and seismicity decreased. During 1 Janaury-13 September white gas-and-steam plumes rose 20-50 m above the summit.

Aira – Kyushu (Japan) : JMA reported that an explosion at Minamidake Crater (at Aira Caldera’s Sakurajima volcano) at 1617 on 19 September produced an eruption plume that rose 1 km above the crater rim. Crater incandescence was visible at night during 20-21 September. The report noted that inflation around the summit continued to be recorded.

Chirinkotan – Kuril Islands (Russia) : SVERT and KVERT reported that volcanic activity at Chirinkotan was last observed during 23-24 August. The Aviation Color Code was lowered to Green in mid to late September.

Ebeko – Paramushir Island (Russia) : According to volcanologists in Severo-Kurilsk (Paramushir Island), about 7 km E of Ebeko, explosions during 10-11 September produced ash plumes that rose as high as 2 km (6,600 ft) a.s.l. and drifted S and SE.

Etna – Sicily (Italy) : INGV reported that tremor amplitude at Etna began gradually increasing at 0420 on 21 September and then suddenly increased at 0440. Ash emissions rose from the Southeast Crater (SEC) at 0815 and by 0855 Strombolian activity was visible. An eruption plume rose 4.5 km above the summit and drifted ENE. Within an hour lava fountaining began and the plume rose 9 km and drifted ENE. Lava overflowed the crater and traveled SW. Lava fountaining had ceased by 1130, though Strombolian activity within the crater continued. Tremor amplitude decreased at 1250 and explosive activity ceased.

Great Sitkin – Andreanof Islands (USA) : AVO reported that lava effusion continued at Great Sitkin during 15-21 September, though weather clouds often prevented webcam and satellite views. Seismicity remained elevated and was characterized by small earthquakes consistent with lava effusion. A radar image from 16 September indicated that the lava dome had grown to 1,130 m E-W and 910 m N-S, and was about 30 m thick. The edges of the dome touched the S and W rims of the crater. Elevated surface temperatures were identified in satellite data during 20-21 September.

Karymsky – Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) : KVERT reported that a thermal anomaly over Karymsky was identified in satellite images during 10-17 September. Ash plumes rose as high as 7 km (23,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 180 km E and SE during 10 and 15-16 September.

Katmai – United States : AVO reported that on 21 September strong winds in the vicinity of Katmai and the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes blew unconsolidated ash SE towards Kodiak Island at an altitude up to 2.4 km (8,000 ft) a.s.l. The ash was originally deposited during the Novarupta eruption in 1912.

Krysuvik-Trolladyngja – Iceland : The eruption from the fifth vent in the W part of the Krýsuvík-Trölladyngja volcanic system, close to Fagradalsfjall on the Reykjanes Peninsula, continued during 15-18 September. According to a news article lava ponded for a few days in Geldingadalur, and during 14-15 September the crust ruptured and sent a larger lava flow rapidly into the S part of the valley; the flow then turned E into the Nàtthagi valley. Authorities temporarily closed the area due to the activity and the large number of tourists; the Coast Guard rescued two people whose exit route had been cut off by the flow. Lava continued to flow on this path during 16-17 September and overtook the “A” hiking trail. Later that day at around 1800 the flow rate decreased or paused, and only minor incandescence from the vent was visible. The Institute of Earth Sciences reported that based on aerial photography acquired on 17 September the area of the flow field had grown to 4.8 square kilometers, and the total volume erupted was 151 million cubic meters. The lava-flow rate during 11-17 September averaged 16 cubic meters per second. IMO noted that 19 September marked six months since the eruption started.

Merapi – Central Java (Indonesia) : BPPTKG reported that no morphological changes to Merapi’s two lava domes, situated just below the SW rim and in the summit crater, were detected during 10-16 September. As many as 144 lava avalanches traveled a maximum of 2 km SW.

Pavlof – United States : AVO reported that periods of elevated seismic tremor with no clear explosion signals were recorded at Pavlof during 14-18 September. Webcam images were mostly obscured by weather clouds. Minor ash deposits on the upper flanks and at least one minor ash emission was visible in a clear webcam view on 18 September. Small low-level ash emissions that dissipated quickly were noted by observers and visible in webcam images at 1500 on 19 September and at 0900 on 20 September. Ash deposits on the mid-flanks were identified in satellite data. Seismicity remained elevated during 2021 September; an explosion was recorded early on the 21 September. The vent in the crater continued to migrate N based on satellite data.

Popocatepetl – Mexico : CENAPRED reported that each day during 14-21 September there were 89-152 steam-and-gas emissions from Popocatépetl. The plumes drifted mainly NW and some contained ash. As many as five daily explosions were recorded during 14-19 September and some ejected incandescent material onto the flanks. Explosions at 1818, 1839, and 2350 on 14 September produced ash plumes that rose 1.2-1.5 km above the crater rim. Explosions at 1015 and 1441 on 15 September produced ash plumes that rose 1.8-2.2 km. During 15-17 September minor ashfall was reported in the municipalities of Cuernavaca, Valle de Chalco, Chiautla, Ixtapaluca, Nezahualcóyotl, La Paz, Ecatepec, Ayapango, Temamatla, Tenango del Aire, Tlalmanalco, Amecameca, Tepetlixpa, Tlalnepantla, and Acolman in the México State, and in Iztapalapa, Xochimilco, and Tlahuac in México City.

Sheveluch – Central Kamchatka (Russia) : KVERT reported that a thermal anomaly over Sheveluch was identified in satellite images during 10-17 September.

Soufriere St. Vincent – St. Vincent : National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO) reported that activity at Soufrière St. Vincent had been low over the previous few months.

Suwanosejima – Ryukyu Islands (Japan) : JMA reported that the number of daily explosions at Suwanosejima’s Ontake Crater increased on 16 September and remained elevated through 20 September. Eruption plumes rose as high as 2.4 km above the crater rim and material was generally ejected 300 m away from the crater. Notably, explosions at 2014 on 16 September and at 0212 on 17 September ejected material almost 1 km S and SE, respectively.